Celtic drop Matt O'Riley transfer hint to Denmark insider as Euro 2024 snub probed

Celtic's Matt O'Riley
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)

Former Celtic star and Denmark assistant Morten Wieghorst has claimed Parkhead insiders fear they won't be able to keep Matt O'Riley in Glasgow next season.

The Hoops star was a surprise omission from from the Danes squad for Euro 2024 with Kasper Hjulmand claiming that the 23-year-old could "not have done more" to earn a spot on the plane to Germany - having lifted the Scottish Premiership title and Scottish Cup with the Hoops and dominating the Celtic player of the year awards. But the snub hasn't impacted on interest in O'Riley this summer with English Premier League clubs on high alert and Atletico Madrid keen to revive their January approach.

Danish No.2 Wieghorst was at the Hydro awards ceremony to present O'Riley with his Celtic gongs – having spent almost seven years as a player in Glasgow's east end. And put on the spot about the decision to attend BEFORE leaving O'Riley out of the squad by Tipsbladet, he admitted he held talks with Hjulmand over attempting to dodge the ceremony before opting to attend.

The former league and cup double winner with Celtic responded: "Those are two separate things. Of course I discussed with the right people whether it was the right thing to do, but the reason I was over there was because of my previous playing career.

"I was invited over and there was a Danish connection. I have spent six and a half years at the club. It was a huge event with 12,500 fans and where Matt almost cleared the table."

Pressed on if they call had sent the "wrong message" to O'Riley over his potential inclusion, Wieghorst went on: "Yes, I will always consider that. In a national coaching position, you will have to be seen as neutral. We judged that there were no bones in it.

"It was a private thing and it's in the past for me. I was not there in the form of being part of the national coaching team. That's not how it was presented up there either. But I enjoyed it and Celtic is a big part of my life and my past."

The former Parkhead midfielder was then pressed on why the decision was made to leave out O'Riley - with the call sparking a backlash from Danish fans. Hjulmand's lieutenant would drop a hint on the inside track on the midfielder's future, stating: "I mean, I can take things apart. We look at football. What would he be able to give us? Who is he up against?

"Huge respect for what Matt has delivered this season. They (Celtic) are very, very happy for him, I would like to say. They are not sure they can keep him with the season he just had."